Where’d I Get It: Review copy from the publisher.
Synopsis (From Goodreads): When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, she realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: Meeting people everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites, she’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.
My Thoughts: I’ve had to think about this one for a while. The premise got me from the beginning, but I think the initial execution of thought-to-paper was a little too clinical for my tastes. The first few chapters of the book are FULL of references to various friend-theme scientific studies…so much so that it seems on almost every page the author is telling us where some data appeared. I understand, a little anyway, why she did this – but it just seemed to me a little over the top and not -quite- necessary.
After the first few chapters, though, the writing relaxes and we get into the flow. Yes, there’s still some references to studies, but they’re done more casually and there’s much fewer. The sudden shift to a more casual writing style was what kept me reading, and I’m really glad I did. Mrs. Bertsche is definitely a fun lady and that shows in the way she puts pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, whatever!). I was intrigued to read about her girl-dates; she gives just enough detail about each to keep the readers interest piqued, but not enough to make you wish she’d just hurry up to the next one, already.
The ideas and themes within the novel are, for someone who is also a transplant to another state and has had little time to jump into the epic social swing of things, quite interesting. She introduces a way of thinking about girl-dates and ‘friending’ that makes it seem the norm rather than something quirky that people might look at with raised eyebrows.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book and I look forward to sharing it with some of my friends.
Rating: 4 of 5